Here’s One Thing My iPhone 6 Is Better At Than My 5DMkII

October 29th, 2014

TimeLapseI really enjoy creating time-lapse video. I’ve done several posts in the past about it in years past. Several years ago readers enlightened me about the problem of flicker so I’ve studying the art of shooting time-lapse and how to shoot it right. Last year I did a post on the subject. I’ve been improving so I now know how to control and remove flicker. Doing this with a DSLR shooting RAW images is a lot of work! It takes 32 GB of RAW images with a lot of Lightroom and LRTimelapse processing to render about 30 seconds of time-lapse video.

In the last year I’ve tried some of the IOS Apps that do time-lapse. Last December I shot this disappointing time-lapse from Diamond Head using the TimeLapse App on an iPhone 5s. A lot of quality issues with that one.

So when IOS 8 came out, with a timelapse feature built into the camera App I didn’t have great expectations. However, when I tried it out I was pleasantly surprised with this result (no editing, straight out of the camera). The most amazing thing is how fast and easy it is to get this result. Just a few seconds after touching stop, the finished video is rendered and ready. This particular time-lapse only has 3 or 4 noticeable flickers between :28 and :40. The rest is flicker free. Sure, if you shoot RAW and process and render the whole thing yourself you have much more control, but I’m beginning to doubt that it’s worth all the effort. I love getting good quality results so fast. I’m going to be shooting much more time-lapse with my iPhone 6.


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16 Responses to “Here’s One Thing My iPhone 6 Is Better At Than My 5DMkII”

  • Love the timelapse and slow motion on my iphone 6!

  • That’s amazing Larry and I’m super psyched to use my new iPhone for that too. What did you use to hold it steady?

  • @Charlie – I use a little “anycase 2.0 Two-Way Universal iPhone Tripod Adapter” from Amazon and put it on a tripod or Nasty Clamp.

  • @Larry & Charlie
    Did you guys get the 6 or the 6 plus?

    I was planning on the 6 plus but after seeing and trying them both I just found the 6 plus just too big (and heavy) and if I need something bigger I have my ipad. I just wish the 6 had image stabilization like the plus does but its not a biggie.

  • @Christian – I have the 6 Plus. Yea, it’s big, but I’m getting used to it. After 3 weeks I like it a lot!

  • It’s amazing that this video came out of a phone. Just out of curiosity . . . each scene is about 20-30 seconds long . . . how long did you have to leave your camera/phone in place in order to get enough footage for that length of video? Also, if you get a call does the camera stop capturing video?

  • @Michael – Each of these 30 sec clips corresponds to about 30 minutes of record time. As I recall, it’s shooting a frame every 2 seconds. And yes if you try to do anything else while the time-lapse is going on the time-lapse app shuts down. I know because I tried to listen to my audiobook to pass the time and going to another app shutdown the time-lapse. I expect this is because judging from how long it takes to process a 30 second time-lapse in Lightroom real time rendering of a time-lapse is very CPU and memory intensive!

  • 2 questions:

    -What is the shooting duration for each POV?

    -What is the equipment setup? Tripod, ariel, housing for weather, stability, anti-theft, etc.

    I’m assuming the setup might be left unattended for possibly hours.

  • @Kelvin

    Umm…I think Larry answered 90% of your 2 questions above….lol

    1. Each of these 30 sec clips corresponds to about 30 minutes of record time
    2. I use a little “anycase 2.0 Two-Way Universal iPhone Tripod Adapter” from Amazon and put it on a tripod or Nasty Clamp

  • @Kevin – Yes, this video was done in the same place, looking in three directions. The whole shooting time took an about an hour and a half. If you shoot time-lapse you need to take some entertainment with you to pass the time. The real beauty of shooting this with an iPhone is that you don’t end up with 3-32Gb CF cards full of RAW files that need hours of processing and rendering in LR and LRTimelapes.

    I’m not about to leave this unattended while it’s shooting so I sit there and listen to audiobooks on my iPad while it’s doing it’s thing.

  • I like doing time-lapse. But I particularly like to work with it as day turns to night. I wonder how the iPhone would deal with that transition. My iPhone5 is pretty grainy in low light.

  • Hi Larry, it’s been awhile since I’ve been on your site and found this post interesting as I too just got the iPhone 6 plus and was curious how the time-lapse would be as I’m loving playing with slow-motion for fun. The time-lapse on the new iPhone is by far the easiest solution to work with, but saying it’s better than your 5D is a bit of a stretch haha.

    It’s just not possible to capture the detail and quality as you can with the FF DSLR camera. For the amateur that likes to play around it’s great (same goes for the slow motion) but we’re talking about a very small lens and sensor that has it’s limitations, although impressive as heck at what it can do. It just seems like a shame to spend the time sitting somewhere capturing the images on a phone where you’re going to have no editing control afterwards. If you have the 5D I’d rather spend the time capturing the “Lowest setting” RAW images, then quickly and easily processing them with LRTimelapse and Lightroom.

    Here’s a local lifestyle video I did comprised mostly of time-lapse footage in the beginning all taken on my 5D Mark II and Mark III with 16-35L lens. I don’t think the iPhone could come close to the quality here, but would love to see someone prove it capable….

  • In looking into this, I discovered a time-lapse app called Lightspeed, which has some pretty cool timing features that allow the time-lapse to be smooth as butter, or choppy stacato.

    The cool thing though, is that it allows an iphone to remote control an ipod or ipad or another iphone, or visa versa…. which means you could conceivably do aerial time-lapses with it. I cant figure out how to get a live preview with it though, which should be possible, since the app iMotion can do it.

  • @Matt – That’s really spectacular. This is the sort of thing I’m just starting to try and do. Sadly, I couldn’t afford a 5D Mark III – so I have to settle for my D7. But I really love the mix of video with time-lapse.

  • @Ruthmarie – thank you I’m glad you enjoyed it. The nice thing about time-lapse is you don’t need a full frame camera to achieve excellent results. Do you mean the Canon 7D you have? That’s more than capable!

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